Angiotensin II and norepinephrine release: Interaction and effects on the heart

Markus P. Schlaich, David M. Kaye, Elisabeth Lambert, Jacqui Hastings, Duncan J. Campbell, Gavin Lambert, Murray D. Esler

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Angiotensin (Ang) II may enhance the influence of the sympathetic nervous system at various levels by facilitating norepinephrine (NE) release. We investigated whether such an interaction is evident in the human heart and whether it has an impact on left ventricular (LV) structure. Methods and results: Ang I and Ang II concentrations were determined in arterial and coronary sinus (CS) plasma samples in a group of normotensive (n = 10) and hypertensive (n = 18) subjects. Total systemic and cardiac NE spillover was measured using isotope dilution methodology and LV structure by echocardiography. Arterial and CS concentrations of Ang I and Ang II were similar in both groups (Ang II CS, 5.8 ± 4.0 versus 3.7 ± 3.1 fmol/ml; P = not significant), as was the Ang II/ Ang I ratio (CS, 0.56 ± 0.17 versus 0.54 ± 0.22 fmol/fmol; P = not significant). Total systemic (223 ± 145 versus 374 ± 149 ng/min; P < 0.05) and cardiac NE spillover (11.7 ± 6.3 versus 19.4 ± 10.5 ng/min; P < 0.05) were increased in hypertensive patients, as was LV mass index (LVMI) (86.7 ± 14.7 versus 117.2 ± 19.4 g/m2; P < 0.001). LVMI correlated with cardiac NE spillover (r = 0.47; P < 0.02). No correlation was evident between CS Ang II and cardiac NE spillover (r = 0.001; P = not significant) or LVMI (r = -0.20; P = not significant). Arterial Ang II tended to correlate with total systemic NE spillover (r = 0.34; P = 0.081). When hypertensive subjects were divided into two groups with either high or low CS Ang II concentration, cardiac NE spillover and LVMI did not differ between the two groups. Conclusion: These findings suggest a growth-promoting effect of increased cardiac sympathetic tone on cardiomyocytes in hypertensive patients, but do not support the notion of a significant role of Ang II for norepinephrine release and LV hypertrophy in the hypertensive human heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1082
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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